Starting your weight loss surgery journey
Congratulations on taking the first step towards your new healthier life. Our comprehensive weight loss surgery program can help you lose the weight, improve your overall health and enhance your well-being for years to come.
We offer our patients:
- Caring physicians and expert coordinated care before and after surgery
- Complete psychological evaluation by a specialist trained in bariatric needs
- Pre-surgery dietary evaluation by a registered dietitian
- Detailed exercise evaluation and program development
Follow the steps below to prepare for your first appointment and to understand the pre-surgery evaluation process.
Step one: Find out your insurance requirements and get needed approvals
Now that you have decided on weight loss surgery, it is imperative that you contact your insurance company to determine:
- If weight loss surgery is a covered benefit
- If covered, what is specifically required
For example, some insurance plans require you to first participate in a diet supervised by a health care provider for three to six months, consecutively, with specific documentation prior to approval.
Other insurance companies will only cover bariatric services with a health care rider to your existing health insurance policy.
If your insurance plan does not cover weight loss surgery, a self-pay package (using either cash or financing) is available. Please contact us for further details.
Step two: Do your homework about weight loss surgery
You should do as much reading and research as possible before making a decision to proceed with surgery. Weight loss surgery is not for everyone, but it is recommended for people whose health is affected by obesity or who have failed to lose weight by any other means. Using a BMI calculator can help you determine eligibility for this type of surgery. Surgical weight loss procedures can help you lose weight and become healthier, but these procedures must be combined with proper diet and exercise in order for you to succeed.
Step three: Gather your health information documentation
Before your first appointment with us, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Ask your primary care physician for copies of office notes that pertain to your weight loss efforts.
- Get copies of all records from specialists you’ve seen in the last year.
- Get copies of any receipts from commercial diet or weight loss programs you previously participated in.
- Obtain a referral from your primary care physician if your insurance requires one.
- Record your current weight with a health care provider to document your maximum weight.
Please bring copies of these and all health care history forms to your first appointment.
If you prefer, you may scan and send your completed documents to Michele Radaszewski, Bariatric Program Manager, via one of these methods:
Bryn Mawr Hospital
Medical Building North, Suite 300
830 Old Lancaster Road
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Step four: Complete a bariatric patient health information packet
You must complete a patient health information packet prior to or during your first visit. The forms in this packet will be used by all of our specialists to avoid unnecessary duplication. A missing or incomplete packet could significantly delay your first visit and may result in the rescheduling of your first appointment.
When filling out the information packet, please be honest and open about all eating habits, eating disorders, addictions and current level of exercise. These will have a direct impact upon your outcome and success.
Please return your completed information packet to our office, either in-person or by one of the methods above.
The pre-surgery evaluation process for insurance approval
Before you can have bariatric surgery you must go through an evaluation process. This is required of all of our patients, regardless of whether you rely on insurance. Most insurance plans cover this evaluation, and it must be completed in order for a bariatric procedure to be approved by your insurance carrier.
This process includes:
- Medical evaluation with one or more of our physicians
- Psychological health evaluation with one of our clinicians
- Nutrition evaluation
- Upper GI series X-ray and/or upper endoscopy
- Lab work
- Possible cardiac evaluation
- Possible sleep study
- Possible pulmonary function tests
- Weight loss program supervised by a health provider (if required by your insurance company) with copies of all office notes
- Pre-op weight loss (preferably five to 10 percent of current body weight)
Appointments with specialists who provide these services can take a great deal of time and should be made as soon as possible. We have a preferred list of providers who focus their evaluations on bariatric needs. Our medical coordinator can help you arrange these appointments.
Program fees and payment options
We require a separate fee before surgery to pay for all non-covered expenses. The program fee is $200, and includes preoperative meal replacements and any evaluations not covered by insurance. This fee is NOT covered by insurance and must be paid by patient.
If your insurance plan does not cover bariatric surgery and associated fees, a separate, comprehensive self-pay package is available.